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Stamped from the Beginning

Stamped from the Beginning

Roger Ross Williams
United States
2023
91 min
European Premiere
Frontlight
Synopsis

This chronicle of rampant racism in the US begins with a provocative question from filmmaker Roger Ross Williams: “Please tell me, what is wrong with Black people?” If you want to change anything about the current situation, you need to know where the racist ideas came from, believes historian Ibram X. Kendi. This film is based on Kendi’s eponymous book, and the author is one of the narrators. We also hear from other experts on the issue, ranging from professors to activists. All the speakers are members of the Black community and, with the exception of Kendi himself, all of them are women.

Williams (director of Oscar-nominated Life, Animated and the first African American filmmaker to win an Oscar, for Music by Prudence) illustrates the story with a dynamic and varied array of visual material, such as the stylized scenes in which three prominent Black women from the past—a poet, an author, and a journalist—are brought back to life. This brings a picture of persecution and white power ever more sharply into focus. This chronicle begins with the invention of the Black race, and ends with the myths that have survived to this day. And there’s just one thing wrong.

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Credits
91 min
color / black and white
-
Spoken languages: English
Director
    Roger Ross Williams
    Roger Ross Williams
Production
    Alisa Payne,
    Roger Ross Williams,
    David Teague
    Alisa Payne,
    Roger Ross Williams,
    David Teague
Executive producer
    Geoff Martz,
    Mara Brock Akil,
    Susie Fitzgerald,
    Ibram X Kendi
    Geoff Martz,
    Mara Brock Akil,
    Susie Fitzgerald,
    Ibram X Kendi
Cinematography
    Wolfgang Held
    Wolfgang Held
Editing
    John S. Fisher,
    Francesca Sharper
    John S. Fisher,
    Francesca Sharper
Music
    Nate Wonder,
    Roman GianArthur,
    Amani 'Burt Blackarach' Smith
    Nate Wonder,
    Roman GianArthur,
    Amani 'Burt Blackarach' Smith
Screenplay
    David Teague
    David Teague
Screening copy
    Netflix
    Netflix
World Sales
    Netflix
    Netflix
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